Classic Italian Sub Sandwich

updated Jun 1, 2021
summer
Classic Italian Sub Sandwich

This classic, make ahead-friendly sandwich is piled with Italian cured meats, provolone cheese, tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce, and picked peppers.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

My one requirement for the perfect beach day? A delicious packed sandwich that doesn’t get soggy. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve learned exactly what that is: a classic Italian sub. Nothing beats the layers of cured meats, salty cheese, shredded lettuce, and thick tomatoes. And thanks to a few smart assembly tips, it stays fresh and crisp all day long. Plus, you can easily feed a few mouths with just one sandwich. Here’s how to make the absolute best one.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

A Make-Ahead Italian Sub That Holds Up for Hours

There are many iterations of an Italian sub, but this version is specifically designed to travel well. Here are a few important tips.

  • Use a sturdy sub roll or a demi Italian loaf. Both are bulky enough that the fillings won’t seep through and result in soggy bread.
  • Skip the ham or mortadella and opt for cured meats. While you’ll still want to keep these sandwiches in a cooler, cured meats are preserved in a way that makes them safe to consume without at-home refrigeration. Prosciutto is my very favorite, but you can also use Genoa salami or hot soppressata. Choose the latter if you want some heat.
  • Add mayonnaise. While it’s not always found in traditional Italian subs, a swipe of mayo is crucial for a traveling one. After all, the only thing worse than a soggy sandwich is a dry one.
  • Use a plum tomato. Plum tomatoes have a thicker skin and fewer seeds and pulp, meaning they can lend their signature sweet juiciness without making the sandwich mushy.
  • Don’t skip the lettuce. Not only does shredded iceberg provide crunch and contrasting texture, but it also protects the bread and catches the oregano vinaigrette between its nooks and crannies.

Classic Italian Sub Sandwich

This classic, make ahead-friendly sandwich is piled with Italian cured meats, provolone cheese, tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce, and picked peppers.

Prep time 10 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large sub or hoagie roll, or demi Italian or French loaf (10 to 12 inches)

  • 1

    large plum tomato

  • 4

    medium pickled pepperoncinis

  • 1 tablespoon

    mayonnaise

  • 2 ounces

    sliced prosciutto (about 5 slices)

  • 2 ounces

    sliced Genoa salami or hot soppressata (about 10 ounces)

  • 2 ounces

    sliced provolone cheese (about 3 slices)

  • 1/2 cup

    shredded iceberg lettuce

  • 1 teaspoon

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Split a 1 large sub roll or demi Italian loaf in half with a serrated knife. Use your hands to scoop out some of the bread in the top half of the roll. Slice 1 large plum tomato crosswise. Stem and thinly slice 4 medium pickled pepperoncinis.

  2. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise evenly on the cut sides of the roll. Layer the following onto the bottom half of the roll in this order: 2 ounces sliced prosciutto, 2 ounces sliced Genoa salami, 2 ounces sliced provolone cheese, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, and 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce.

  3. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, a pinch of kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Close the sandwich with the top half of the roll.

  4. Cut in half or in quarters crosswise with a serrated knife. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving.